Warning: This review contains spoilers for tonight’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so read on at your own peril. Hail Hydra!
This week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is so intense that it’s hard to believe it isn’t the show’s mid-season finale. Yet its title is an ironic one. While Ward may have found a kind of temporary peace in getting his revenge against Coulson, the resolution to this story will have to come next week when the real mid-season finale airs. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Because “Closure” is stuffed to the gills with goodness.
Let’s start with that cold open, which left my jaw on the floor. I mean, I knew Rosalind and Coulson weren’t going to last forever, especially since they seemed pretty happy with each other. (This is a Team Whedon show, remember?). But to off Ros in the first scene?! Then again, had we spent more time with her, her death may have been colder still. All I know is that Mutant Enemy loves to make its characters– and its audience–suffer the torments of the damned.
Once again, we see that the eviler Ward gets the better he gets. As it turns out, Brett Dalton is a gazillion times better at playing a psychopathic scumbag than he ever was at portraying a nice guy. This week’s episode gives us even more of Ward’s background, and through his brother Thomas we learn just how twisted he really is. When Malick tells Ward he’s the finest soldier Hydra ever made, I’m inclined to believe it. I just hate thinking that, in the end, the show will have him, as one of its main characters, return to the side of the angels and the arms of Daisy. Her line to Coulson — “The reason Ward kills is not because he feels nothing. It’s because he feels too much” — is telling. Maybe its Chloe Bennet’s reading, but she sounds a lot like a daughter explaining her attraction to a bad boyfriend to her dad.
We also learn this week that Hydra financed the Distant Star Pathfinder project, and that they have five stones with which to open to the alien portal; through which they know how to enter but not to get back. Enter Fitz and Jemma, who turns out to be really good at standing up to physical torture. (Alas, Fitz isn’t nearly so good at standing up to psychological torture.) Seriously, how did she get out of that room with just a scratch on her cheek? Especially when Mark Dacascos’ hammer-and-pliers-wielding telekinetic Mr. Giyera is one of the most cold-blooded characters S.H.I.E.L.D. has given us this side of Ward and Lash. While I liked Bill Paxton and Kyle MacLachlan’s turns over the last two seasons, they brought a level of camp to the show that, between Powers Boothe’s Gideon Malick and the rest of this season’s heavies, is looong gone.
About the only misstep this week is in the final scene, when Coulson jumps out of the plane and straight through the portal, only to hit his head on a rock and get knocked unconscious. Because we all know he’ll recover next week. It served as a sharp contrast to most of this episode’s commercial breaks, which were overflowing with uncertainty. But when he does recover, I want him to grant my Christmas wish — by separating Ward’s head from his spine. Now that would be closure.
- Clark Gregg has rarely been as good on this show as he is when Coulson reacts to Rosalind’s death by interrogating the hell out of his team. The man’s eyes are ICBMs here.
- “It’s just an old wives’ tale Hydra moms tell their goblin babies.”
- “Piece of advice — never trust a doped-up jockey on a crooked horse.” Hunter’s at his best when he makes no sense.
- Just how many people throw their cell phones in this episode? I lost count.
- “Gotta say, I am impressed by this whole Furiosa vibe you got going on.”
- Mack is a much better S.H.I.E.L.D. director than he is a Monolith caretaker.
- Daisy finally gets her team of Inhumans!
- This week’s Most Romantic Moment is a tie between 1.) Hunter’s “We both know common sense was never really my strong suit” followed by that pre-jump smooch with Bobbi and 2.) Fitz’s “I’m not strong enough to live in a world without you in it.”
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).
Image Credits: ABC